All the tools and resources you need to export your goods across the world

The French Territory of the Afars and the Issas became Djibouti in 1977. Hassan Gouled APTIDON installed an authoritarian one-party state and proceeded to serve as president until 1999. Unrest among the Afar minority during the 1990s led to a civil war that ended in 2001 with a peace accord between Afar rebels and the Somali Issa-dominated government. In 1999, Djibouti's first multiparty presidential election resulted in the election of Ismail Omar GUELLEH as president; he was reelected to a second term in 2005 and extended his tenure in office via a constitutional amendment, which allowed him to serve a third term in 2011 and begin a fourth term in 2016. Djibouti occupies a strategic geographic location at the intersection of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and serves as an important shipping portal for goods entering and leaving the east African highlands and transshipments between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The government holds longstanding ties to France, which maintains a significant military presence in the country, and has strong ties with the US. Djibouti hosts several thousand members of US armed services at US-run Camp Lemonnier.


Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia

Natural Resources

potential geothermal power, gold, clay, granite, limestone, marble, salt, diatomite, gypsum, pumice, petroleum

Population - distribution

most densely populated areas are in the east; the largest city is Djibouti, with a population over 600,000; no other city in the country has a total population over 50,000

French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar
DJIBOUTI (capital) 529,000 (2015)
Conventional long form
Republic of Djibouti
Conventional short form
Local long form
Republique de Djibouti/Jumhuriyat Jibuti
Local short form
semi-presidential republic
Geographic coordinates
11 35 N, 43 09 E
Time difference
UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Djibouti's economy is based on service activities connected with the country's strategic location as a deepwater port on the Red Sea. Three-fourths of Djibouti's inhabitants live in the capital city; the remainder are mostly nomadic herders. Scant rainfall and less than 4% arable land limits crop production to small quantities of fruits and vegetables, and most food must be imported.
External debt stocks
US$ 1,222,169,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ -547,777,403
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 654,165,799
Exports of goods and services
US$ 484,062,097
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 123,998,424
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 233,378,348
fruits, vegetables; goats, sheep, camels, animal hides
construction, agricultural processing, shipping
reexports, hides and skins, coffee (in transit), scrap metal
Somalia 79.7%, US 5.4%, Yemen 4.6%, UAE 4% (2015)
foods, beverages, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, clothing
China 41.8%, Saudi Arabia 14.2%, Indonesia 5.9%, India 4.3% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
A very uncertain political and economic outlook and a business environment with many troublesome weaknesses can have a significant impact on corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is high.
Business Climate Rating
The business environment is very difficult. Corporate financial information is rarely available and when available usually unreliable. The legal system makes debt collection very unpredictable. The institutional framework has very serious weaknesses. Intercompany transactions can thus be very difficult to manage in the highly risky environments rated D.
  • Ongoing modernization of infrastructures
  • Emergence of the country as a regional trading and logistics platform
  • Large inward flow of foreign direct investments
  • Geostrategic position at entrance to Red Sea and support of international community
  • High risk of over-indebtedness
  • Increasing dependence on Ethiopia and China
  • Endemic poverty and unemployment
  • Difficult business climate

Our site saves small pieces of text information (cookies) on your device in order to deliver better content and for statistical purposes. By browsing our website you grant us permission to store that information on your device. For more information check our Terms and Conditions.